Life Lessons I Learned from My Cat
Even if you are not a cat person, bear with me, as this story goes far beyond cat mania. Our little tabby cat was frightened and highly-sensitive from the day we rescued her from the SPCA, two and a half years ago. No doubt being jailed there for four months messed her mind. As we came to learn "Shylo's" nature we renamed her "Shybaby."
Practice Patience, Breathing and Being
Extreme patience was the first virtue Shybaby taught us. We would have to be still, with arm out stretched, finger pointing toward her, and wait for her to rub by our finger numerous times before she would deem to move in closer. Closer contact would have to be her move, not ours. If we rushed this timely greeting she fled. (Often this time consuming ritual was far too much for our teenage boy!)
Yet, if we, and particularly myself (as I must admit that little cat really came to dote on me) were too impatient or too busy to spend time with her, Shybaby became even more skiddish and frightened. Intuitively she knew when I was lost in my hyper, anxious "I have so much to do and so little time" state, as then, Shybaby fled from my energy. Seeing this I would stop, sit down, and practice breathing and being with her - my "kitty meditation." As I calmed down, kitty calmed down.
Couldn't we all benefit from a little more "kitty meditation" in life? Firstly, noticing when we are anxiously driving ourselves and then, practicing patience with ourselves, and breathing and being?
Precious Present Moment
This sweet little soul also taught me the preciousness of each moment. As usual, she leaped upon my bed this morning - with her uncanny knowing the moment I had opened my eyes - to give me her love greetings. I relish her affection even more so today and with a heavy heart knowing she is to die tomorrow. My little girl cat is in the advanced stages of liver cancer, no longer eating, and there is naught else we can do other than love her.
So, this moment with her is so very special because I know it will never be repeated. Soon she will be gone forever from our lives. With bitter-sweet revelation I understand this to be the truth of each single, present moment. We only have each moment now, this once, to fully experience and enjoy it, and then it is gone forever. I am chilled by how carelessly we forget this - rushing onto the next thing, consumed with past and future thoughts ? missing the only moment we have!
Keep Things in Perspective
Also, I have my cat to thank for helping me keep things in perspective. Yes, there is a deep hurt in my heart knowing cancer rages in her body and soon she will be gone yet, I am deeply grateful it is not one of us. Our lives have already been scarred by painful losses caused by cancer.
Yet, we are now deeply grateful as my father-in-law seems to have won his recent round with cancer. With much relief, we are no longer visiting him in the cancer ward. I am losing my sweet, little cat but my loved ones are here.
Do Your Best to Keep Loving, No Matter What
Little Shybaby has barely eaten in over two weeks. Although a small cat, she used to have a roundness about her that is lacking now. Although we know we can no longer selfishly delay her death - wanting one more day of her sweetness - it is so hard to let her go. I am amazed at how this little animal ? despite illness and lack of nourishment ? seeks to be near me and to heal me with her loving purr even now. This too is Shybaby's legacy on leading a happy life: Do your best to keep loving, no matter what.
So let us all remember the teachings of the wise little Zen master, Shybaby:
1. Practice Patience in All Things
Teresa Proudlove has been inspiring, supporting, and guiding over 3000 people upon their career and life work path for over fourteen years - with compassion and heart. Teresa's workshops and writing, offer a deeper understanding and respect for ourselves, for others, and for our lifework path. This entrepreneurial woman also owned and successfully operated two women's retail boutiques for ten years. For over twelve years, Teresa was a well-read newspaper columnist. Visit Teresa at http://www.yourlifework.com; listen to your inner guidance and navigate through life and work with more meaning, acceptance and peace.
5 Simple Tips On Using Your Senses
1. Breakfast in Bed.
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Healing The Abandonment Wounds
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My Mothers Garden
I love to talk about Purposeful Living with others and share how it's affected my life. But sometimes when I get to the part about doing what you need to do my listeners eyes glaze over and I know I've lost them. I get the response that it doesn't seem like much "fun" to find your purpose and do what you need to do. In fact, it sounds rather Calvinistic. It sounds like trudging uphill in the rain with your head down ? oblivious to your surroundings.
Things Happen Without Reason
Sometimes things happen in life for apparently no reason at all. You think that there isn't any reason for something to happen until after the fact when that something has changed your life or pointed you into a new direction.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 31, 2003
Hitler and the Tsunami
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The One Thing You Really Want
There is one thing you want...
Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 2, 2003
Fear, Faith, and Believing vs. Knowing
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Inspired For Women
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Accelerate Your Abilities
In today's fast-paced life, the wins usually go to those with exceptional skills and abilities. The old quote is true, "The race is not always won by the swift and the strong, but that is the way to bet."
Starting A New Disaster Relief Program
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Aftermath of a Child?s Near Death Experience
An 18 month-old girl lay dying of diphtheria in January of 1944. It was before the widespread use of antibiotics. In fact, the antibiotics were reserved for the troops fighting in World War II. That's where the little girl's father was...on Iwo Jima.
Playing With Fire
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 21, 2002
Flaming Fire Within Our Bones
Jeremiah was certainly one of the most distinguished notables of the Old Testament. To read his messages and experiences is to become acquainted with a great servant of God. I believe he revealed more of his inner feelings and personal reactions toward God and man, than did any other prophet or prophetess in Old Testament times. He was a young man of approximately 21 years of age when he accepted his divine calling to minister to the nations.
Why Anyone Can Be Prosperous
In nature, when the season is right, all things flourish and overflow with abundance.
The Two Choices We Face
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Victory is an Accomplishment
Did you ever watch a bird in flight? Especially ducks or geese as they take off from the water? The take off is not the soaring grace of flight; it is a struggle, an accomplishment to get the bird out of the water and into the air. The REAL victory of flight is not the feat of soaring on air currents to a final destination, once in flight the bird has relative ease from his struggles. The real victory is in getting past the struggles of starting, just getting out of the muck.
The Art of Letting Go
It has been six months since I left the corporate world ? and there are some things I will always miss. Like saying good morning to colleagues on my way to the office where I worked every day. Or getting caught in the excitement as we prepared for another big meeting or presentation.
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